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IFC INVESTS TO BUILD JORDAN’S EXPORT INDUSTRY


Brigid Janssen
Phone: (202) 458-4698

Fax: (202) 974-4384

E-mail: bjanssen@ifc.org


WASHINGTON, D.C., December 11, 2000 – In a transaction that will create thousands of jobs and give a major boost to Jordan’s export industries, IFC is investing US$15 million in loans and equity that will help make Jordan the center of worldwide luggage manufacturing operations for the Boscan Group.

IFC has approved loans of $14 million and an equity investment of $1 million in Boscan Jordan, which produces soft-sided luggage products under brand names for the U.S. market.  The investment will allow the company to triple production at its facility in Irbid, which is in a Qualifying Industrial Zone in northern Jordan.  Products can be exported to the United States from the zone duty-free and with no excise tax or quota limits, under the terms of trade agreements between Jordan and the United States.  


The expansion of Boscan’s operations in Jordan will create some 2,300 jobs in a region with high unemployment.  Many of these jobs will be for women.  The Boscan Group, which is majority owned by a group of Chinese entrepreneurs, is working with local colleges to create training programs to help develop a skilled and semi-skilled local labor pool.  The Boscan Group produces luggage, garments and textiles in Jordan, Dubai and the People’s Republic of China.


Sami Haddad, Director of IFC’s Middle East and North Africa Department said there are excellent prospects that other investors will be attracted to Jordan, drawn by this major investment by a first-class international business group, an attractive local labor force and other comparative advantages.


Charlie Chang, Chairman and CEO of the Boscan Group called the expansion a significant milestone in the group’s continuing investment program in Jordan.  He noted that Boscan began operations in Irbid two years ago with less than three hundred employees, it now employs more than three thousand workers and the expansion will double this number.  Mr. Chang said he is very excited by the performance of the business to date and hopes that his company’s success will be an example for other companies considering investment in Jordan.


The mission of IFC, part of the World Bank Group, is to promote private sector investment in developing countries, which will reduce poverty and improve people’s lives.  IFC finances private sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses.